After the latest mules for the next-generation Mini Countryman were seen, we finally get an idea of how BMW will expand its third-generation Mini range and add to its current seven models. It’s likely that a new Mini family MPV, which is also known as Spacebox, will be added to the lineup. This would permit the Mini Countryman to have a more SUV-like appearance instead of a family vehicle and to be a sister model to the second-generation BMW X1. Mini has not been candid about what its plans are to expand the Mini range further. It is expected that the Countryman will be replaced by two models since the Countryman isn’t a proper SUV or a utility family car.
What Mini offers for the next generation is a Countryman SUV that appears more rugged, partnered with the next X1, which would be longer than the Mini version by about 15cm because of its bigger overhangs. The new Spacebox model has a profile that’s similar to the Countryman but this is more of a practical family car instead of just a bigger version of the Mini hatch, says Autocar.
In addition, the third-generation Mini family will see the Clubman redefined to serve as more of a sporting estate car. It will probably get twin rear suicide doors. Beginning later in 2012, the company will start to produce the new Mini and BMW models that are built on its all-new, front-wheel drive UKL platform. It’s believed to come in at least two wheelbases, two track widths and with high and low seating positions. All-wheel drive would be an option. The Mini hatchback is the first Mini model to shift to the corporate platform. BMW’s new front-drive 1-series models would be next. From the images released, we see that the bigger version of the UKL platform will use wider tracks and have a wheelbase that’s slightly longer than the Countryman.